Permits issued to renovate a vacant gas station in the City of Howell have been revoked due to lack of action.

Staff had been preparing for construction on the site to bring the property at 401 East Grand River back to a viable use. It’s the former Citgo gas station at the corner of Barnard and Grand River and plans to re-open a gas station on the site were actually approved by the City back in 2016 but nothing ever happened. The City has fielded countless complaints about the property and issued various tickets.
In May, the Howell City Council canceled an unsafe building hearing for the owners of the property. The owner has repeatedly waited until the last possible minute to address issues raised by the City and a lot of staff time has been expended while Council has postponed dangerous building hearings.

Interim City Manager Erv Suida tells WHMI they had a meeting with the owners, they submitted plans and the City issued permits but they never came and picked them up. He says the City is now revoking those permits and the owners will have to go through the process again. Suida says it’s a small gas station with a shack-type building located on the south side of Grand River that’s been abandoned for quite a while. He says they’ve been trying to work with the owner to get it open or get it moving in some direction but have not been able to do that yet. Suida says they’re trying to help them along and get things rolling and sent out a letter to hopefully do that.

Staff previously noted that the dangerous building designation no longer applies, on the premise that the unsafe conditions have been rectified and it is now just a vacant building in the city. If construction ever does commence, the project should only take around 6 to 8 weeks, depending on the weather. (JM)